“Kanye West Is Hospitalized for ‘Psychiatric Emergency’ Hours After Canceling Tour” – nytimes.com
“Fort Lauderdale Airport Shooting Suspect Esteban Santiago Said He Heard Voices” – nbcnews.com
“Suicide wave grips Columbia.” – nypost.com
These are headlines we’ve all seen in the last several years, but we’re still not talking about mental illness. So now I propose the question: Why is mental illness such a stigma? Why is it such a foreign concept that the brain can get injured like any other organ? If the heart stops pumping causing a myocardial infarction (heart attack), we send flowers and get-well balloons. If someone has end stage renal disease and needs dialysis three times a week, we sit with them and hold their hand through the 4-hour process. Yet when someone complains of depression, we tell them to shrug it off and things will get better. If someone reports hearing voices, we exile them from our lives and communities.